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Charity’s work praised by minister

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By Charlotte MacKay
Annan and Eskdale
Charity's work praised by minister

AN Annan outreach service is being held up as an shining example of ways to combat social isolation.

Yesterday the Scottish Government’s Older People and Equalities minister Christina McKelvie visited Kate’s Kitchen in Bank Street to hear more about their initiatives to help people who may be vulnerable to social isolation.

The visit was part of the government’s first national strategy to tackle social isolation and loneliness, A Connected Scotland, which launched in December.

And Kate’s Kitchen is being held up as an example of how communities can come together to support people who may be in need of help.

Ms McKelvie said: “I see the government as being the vehicle for this strategy and the stakeholders as the drivers.

“A Connected Scotland is not just a title, it is about action and how we support people who are at risk of social isolation, or may already be experiencing it.”

During her visit the minister was given a tour of Kate’s Kitchen and met with service users to hear more about what the charity has done to help them.

She continued: “There is such a lot going on here, but the key thing for me is the open, supportive and friendly attitude – as soon as you walk in the door there is a warm welcome.

“It’s not just providing services but giving people the chance to get involved and help each other.

“Whether it is in the garden, the kitchen or the food bank, there are smiles on everyone’s faces.”

Kate’s Kitchen manager Hazel Thompson explained that the charity is providing up to 50 meals a day, and said: “It is always good to know that we are doing things right.

“There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, particularly in the kitchen, and then we have all the other activities going on as well.

“We have the gardening group which has about 20 members, and then on Fridays we have an arts and crafts and healthy eating group.

“It has evolved from two volunteers and four service users having a cup of tea in a church hall, to serving 40 to 50 meals a day.

“It is about the support that we offer to everyone and anyone, we would never turn anyone away.”

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